Bodil Damgaard and Jenny M. Lewis
This chapter provides an analytical framework aimed at measuring citizen participation in public accountability processes beyond the fundamental mechanism of parliamentary elections. The framework juxtaposes and adapts ideas from Arnstein’s ladder of citizen participation and Bovens’s notion of public accountability as containing important elements of learning. The resulting five levels of citizen participation in public accountability are based on increasing degrees of citizen participation, from non-participatory “education” (the lowest level) through involvement, advice, collaboration, and joint ownership (the highest level). As the levels are ascended, accountability-elements evolve from citizens’ passive reception of information to enabling citizens to pose questions, pass judgments, define and apply consequences and, finally, to engage in agenda- setting to ensure effectiveness and responsiveness. Some dilemmas and tensions arising from incorporating citizens into accountability measures at different levels are discussed.
Jerry L. Mashaw
This chapter puts the issue of time on the accountability studies agenda. It argues that time is a crucial consideration in the design of accountable institutions. But it also claims that while time adds to uncertainty, complexity, and normative ambiguity in decision-making, time does not defeat accountability even in extreme cases such as accountability for historic injustices and responsibility for intergenerational equity.
In the past decades we have witnessed an increase of public accountability obligations while trust in the public sector has become more volatile. Based on a literature review, different notions of trust are identified. This includes a review of trust enablers for the public sector as well as a presentation of different types of public trust. In the following the relationship between public accountability and trust is analyzed. Whenever possible, empirical findings are included. As trust and public accountability are elusive concepts the relationship between both is far from straightforward in New Public Management and Public Governance.
Mark H. Moore
Liberal societies have long been concerned about the effective control of the powerful governmental institutions that arise within them. Over the past decade and a half, governments have been reluctant to curb the power of private corporations, but the public has sought and found ways to call corporations to account without the mediation of government. In the “court of public opinion,” private “accountability agents” press their demands for accountability without legal backing. These accountability agents constitute the external accountability structure that all social organizations and enterprises face. The evolving processes are predicated on various legal structures and behavioral processes that help to endue organizations with social legitimacy by connecting external demands for accountability to the internal goals of the enterprise and its leadership.
Sanneke Kuipers and Paul 't Hart
Crises—be they natural disasters, industrial accidents or system collapses—are no longer seen as “acts of God”; they immediately invoke intense debates on culpability and consequences. Crisis management is scrutinized in and by different forums such as mass media, judicial authorities, independent investigators, and political inquiries. Strategies by accountees vary between blame re-allocation and exhibition of empathy (such as public apologies) and responsiveness. These strategies and the outcome of the accountability process affect private and organizational reputations, professional positions, public policies and, ultimately, such crisis-induced accountability processes produce societal re-equilibration.
This chapter discusses the concept of accuracy and how to measure it. It presents a chronology of the accuracy of the presidential pre-election polls during the 2008 election, and then studies the various ways to estimate election outcomes that do not include polls conducted by the analyst. The chapter also examines the impact of new technologies and evolving voting procedures on the accuracy of polls.
Walter J. Stone
This article describes the place of party activists in the electoral process, with attention to questions about whether and how they distort processes of electoral representation in the United States. In general elections, activists' strong partisanship is usually seen as pushing them inexorably to support their party's candidate. Furthermore a study of the 2006 midterm elections in the House of Representatives is elaborated. The effect of activist opinion in districts on incumbent position-taking and the influence of activist mobilization on incumbent vote share are reviewed. There is an increasing realization among scholars of the electoral process that activists are essential to understanding the connections between the public and candidates, party images, and processes of change. It is possible that the participation of activists contributes essentially to the health and functioning of the electoral system.
Kellee S. Tsai
Historical institutionalism (HI) has traditionally focused on formal institutions designed and enforced by official entities in advanced industrial democracies. Yet the modalities of endogenous institutional change delineated by HI reveal that the causal mechanisms of institutional transformation are typically informal. This chapter proposes a more inclusive ontology of institutions that views institutions as a single two-dimensional Möbius strip with both formal and informal components—regardless of regime type or level of economic development. Focusing on “adaptive informal institutions” that arise in a multi-tiered institutional context can show how informal institutions compromise, subvert, and even facilitate reforms of formal institutions.
During the last few decades, feminist affect studies have enunciated challenging epistemological and ontological questions based on numerous discussions and readings of affect as emotive intensities, intuitive reactions, and life forces. Affect has created a space for rethinking theoretical issues that range from the dualisms between body and mind to the critique of identity politics and critical reading. This theorizing has underlined the sensual qualities of being and the capacity to experience and understand the world in profoundly relational and productive ways. This chapter presents examples of the wide spectrum of contemporary feminist affect studies. It discusses the notion of “affective turn,” concentrating on the way it has been seen as a reaction and a challenge to alleged limitations of poststructuralism and deconstruction; describes definitions of affect; explores understandings of the linkages between epistemology and ontology, and offers some reflections on the feminist politics of affects.
Ann N. Crigler and Parker R. Hevron
Whether political observers and participants applaud or decry the presence of emotions in political decision-making, scholars have begun to view the relationship between affect and reason as a key component of decision-making. This chapter provides an overview of the research on affect and political choice. The authors argue that emotions undergird acts of political choice, not simply as additional variables to explain preferences or actions but also as integral to the processing of information and decision-making. They briefly define affect, emotion and mood and outline some of the methodologies commonly used to measure each of the four emotion functions that are central to political communication and choice. These four functions of emotion – expressive, perceptual/attentional, appraisal, and behavioral – are discussed in relation to political decision-making.